The Botanic Garden
Erasmus Darwin

Part 2 out of 7

the attraction of its own parts, which would become an oblate spheroid
from its diurnal revolution. As the vapour cooled the water would be
precipitated, and an ocean would surround the spherical nucleus with a
superincumbent atmosphere. The nucleus of solar lava would likewise
become harder as it became cooler. To understand how the strata of the
earth were afterwards formed from the sediments of this circumfluent
ocean the reader is referred to an ingenious Treatise on the Theory of
the Earth by Mr. Whitehurst, who was many years a watch-maker and
engineer at Derby, but whose ingenuity, integrity, and humanity, were
rarely equalled in any station of life.]

"Where yet the Bull with diamond-eye adorns
The Spring's fair forehead, and with golden horns;
Where yet the Lion climbs the ethereal plain,
And shakes the Summer from his radiant mane;
25 Where Libra lifts her airy arm, and weighs,
Poised in her silver ballance, nights and days;
With paler lustres where Aquarius burns,
And showers the still snow from his hoary urns;
YOUR ardent troops pursued the flying sphere,
30 Circling the starry girdle of the year;
While sweet vicissitudes of day and clime
Mark'd the new annals of enascent Time.

II. "You trod with printless step Earth's tender globe,
While Ocean wrap'd it in his azure robe;
35 Beneath his waves her hardening strata spread,
Raised her PRIMEVAL ISLANDS from his bed,
Stretch'd her wide lawns, and sunk her winding dells,
And deck'd her shores with corals, pearls, and shells.

[_While ocean wrap'd_. l. 34. See additional notes, No. XVI. on the
production of calcareous earth.]

[_Her hardening srata spread_. l. 35. The granite, or moor-stone, or
porphory, constitute the oldest part of the globe, since the limestone,
shells, coralloids, and other sea-productions rest upon them; and upon
these sea-productions are found clay, iron, coal, salt, and siliceous
sand or grit-stone. Thus there seem to be three divisions of the globe
distinctly marked; the first I suppose to have been the original nucleus
of the earth, or lava projected from the sun; 2. over this lie the
recrements of animal and vegetable matter produced in the ocean; and, 3.
over these the recrements of animal and vegetable matter produced upon
the land. Besides these there are bodies which owe their origin to a
combination of those already mentioned, as siliceous sand, fluor,
alabaster; which seem to have derived their acids originally from the
vegetable kingdom, and their earthy bases from sea-productions. See
additional notes, No. XVI. on calcareous earth.]

[_Raised her primeval islands_. l. 36. The nucleus of the earth, still
covered with water, received perpetual increase by the immense
quantities of shells and coralloids either annually produced and
relinquishied, or left after the death of the animals. These would
gradually by their different degrees of cohesion be some of them more
and others less removable by the influence of solar tides, and gentle
tropical breezes, which then must have probably extended from one pole
to the other; for it is supposed the moon was not yet produced, and that
no storms or unequal winds had yet existence.

Hence then the primeval islands had their gradual origin, were raised
but a few feet above the level of the sea, and were not exposed to the
great or sudden variations of heat and cold, as is so well explained in
Mr. Whitehurst's Theory of the Earth, chap. xvi. Whence the paradise of
the sacred writers, and the golden age of the profane ones, seems to
have had a real existence. As there can be no rainbow, when the heavens
are covered with clouds, because the sun-beams are then precluded from
falling upon the rain-drops opposite to the eye of the spectator, the
rainbow is a mark of gentle or partial showers. Mr. Whitehurst has
endeavoured to show that the primitive islands were only moistened by
nocturnal dews and not by showers, as occurs at this day to the Delta of
Egypt; and is thence of opinion, that the rainbow had no existence till
after the production of mountains and continents. As the salt of the sea
has been gradually accumulating, being washed down into it from the
recrements of animal and vegetable bodies, the sea must originally have
been as fresh as river water; and as it is not yet saturated with salt,
must become annually more saline. See note on l. 119 of this Canto.]

"O'er those blest isles no ice-crown'd mountains tower'd,
40 No lightnings darted, and no tempests lower'd;
Soft fell the vesper-drops, condensed below,
Or bent in air the rain-refracted bow;
Sweet breathed the zephyrs, just perceiv'd and lost;
And brineless billows only kiss'd the coast;
45 Round the bright zodiac danced the vernal hours,
And Peace, the Cherub, dwelt in mortal bowers!

"So young DIONE, nursed beneath the waves,
And rock'd by Nereids in their coral caves,
Charm'd the blue sisterhood with playful wiles,
50 Lisp'd her sweet tones, and tried her tender smiles.
Then, on her beryl throne by Triton's borne,
Bright rose the Goddess like the Star of morn;
When with soft fires the milky dawn He leads,
And wakes to life and love the laughing meads;--
55 With rosy fingers, as uncurl'd they hung
Round her fair brow, her golden locks she wrung;
O'er the smooth surge on silver sandals flood,
And look'd enchantment on the dazzled flood.--
The bright drops, rolling from her lifted arms,
60 In slow meanders wander o'er her charms,
Seek round her snowy neck their lucid track,
Pearl her white shoulders, gem her ivory back,
Round her fine waist and swelling bosom swim,
And star with glittering brine each crystal limb.--
65 --The immortal form enamour'd Nature hail'd,
And Beauty blazed to heaven and earth, unvail'd.

[_So young Dione_. l. 47. There is an antient gem representing Venus
rising out of the ocean supported by two Tritons. From the formality of
the design it would appear to be of great antiquity before the
introduction of fine taste into the world. It is probable that this
beautiful allegory was originally an hieroglyphic picture (before the
invention of letters) descriptive of the formation of the earth from the
ocean, which seems to have been an opinion of many of the most antient

III. "You! who then, kindling after many an age,
Saw with new fires the first VOLCANO rage,
O'er smouldering heaps of livid sulphur swell
70 At Earth's firm centre, and distend her shell,
Saw at each opening cleft the furnace glow,
And seas rush headlong on the gulphs below.--
GNOMES! how you shriek'd! when through the troubled air
Roar'd the fierce din of elemental war;
75 When rose the continents, and sunk the main,
And Earth's huge sphere exploding burst in twain.--
GNOMES! how you gazed! when from her wounded side
Where now the South-Sea heaves its waste of tide,
Rose on swift wheels the MOON'S refulgent car,
80 Circling the solar orb; a sister-star,
Dimpled with vales, with shining hills emboss'd,
And roll'd round Earth her airless realms of frost.

[_The first volcano_. l. 68. As the earth before the existence of
earthquakes was nearly level, and the greatest part of it covered with
sea; when the first great fires began deep in the internal parts of it,
those parts would become much expanded; this expansion would be
gradually extended, as the heat increased, through the whole terraqueous
globe of 7000 miles diameter; the crust would thence in many places open
into fissures, which by admitting the sea to flow in upon the fire,
would produce not only a quantity of steam beyond calculation by its
expansion, but would also by its decomposition produce inflammable air
and vital air in quantities beyond conception, sufficient to effect
those violent explosions, the vestiges of which all over the world
excite our admiration and our study; the difficulty of understanding how
subterraneous fires could exist without the presence of air has
disappeared since Dr. Priestley's discoveries of such great quantities
of pure air which constitute all the acids, and consequently exist in
all saline bodies, as sea-salt, nitre, lime-stone, and in all calciform
ores, as manganese, calamy, ochre, and other mineral substances. See an
ingenious treatise by Mr. Michel on earthquakes in the Philos. Trans.

In these first tremendous ignitions of the globe, as the continents were
heaved up, the vallies, which now hold the sea, were formed by the earth
subsiding into the cavities made by the rising mountains; as the steam,
which raised them condensed; which would thence not have any caverns of
great extent remain beneath them, as some philosophers have imagined.
The earthquakes of modern days are of very small extent indeed compared
to those of antient times, and are ingeniously compared by M. De Luc to
the operations of a mole-hill, where from a small cavity are raised from
time to time small quantities of lava or pumice stone. Monthly Review,
June, 1790.]

[_The moon's refulgent car_. l. 79. See additional notes, No. XV. on
solar volcanos.]

[_Her airless realms of frost_. l. 82. If the moon had no atmosphere at
the time of its elevation from the earth; or if its atmosphere was
afterwards stolen from it by the earth's attraction; the water on the
moon would rise quickly into vapour; and the cold produced by a certain
quantity of this evaporation would congeal the remainder of it. Hence it
is not probable that the moon is at present inhabited, but as it seems
to have suffered and to continue to suffer much by volcanos, a
sufficient quantity of air may in process of time be generated to
produce an atmosphere; which may prevent its heat from so easily
escaping, and its water from so easily evaporating, and thence become
fit for the production of vegetables and animals.

That the moon possesses little or no atmosphere is deduced from the
undiminished lustre of the stars, at the instant when they emerge from
behind her disk. That the ocean of the moon is frozen, is confirmed from
there being no appearance of lunar tides; which, if they existed, would
cover the part of her disk nearest the earth. See note on Canto III. l.

"GNOMES! how you trembled! with the dreadful force
When Earth recoiling stagger'd from her course;
85 When, as her Line in slower circles spun,
And her shock'd axis nodded from the sun,
With dreadful march the accumulated main
Swept her vast wrecks of mountain, vale, and plain;
And, while new tides their shouting floods unite,
90 And hail their Queen, fair Regent of the night;
Chain'd to one centre whirl'd the kindred spheres,
And mark'd with lunar cycles solar years.

[_When earth recoiling_. l. 84. On supposition that the moon was thrown
from the earth by the explosion of water or the generation of other
vapours of greater power, the remaining part of the globe would recede
from its orbit in one direction as the moon receded in another, and that
in proportion to the respective momentum of each, and would afterwards
revolve round their common centre of gravity.

If the moon rose from any part of the earth except exactly at the line
or poles, the shock would tend to turn the axis of the earth out of its
previous direction. And as a mass of matter rising from deep parts of
the globe would have previously acquired less diurnal velocity than the
earth's surface from whence it rose, it would receive during the time of
its rising additional velocity from the earth's surface, and would
consequently so much retard the motion of the earth round its axis.

When the earth thus receded the shock would overturn all its buildings
and forests, and the water would rush with inconceivable violence over
its surface towards the new satellite, from two causes, both by its not
at first acquiring the velocity with which the earth receded, and by the
attraction of the new moon, as it leaves the earth; on these accounts at
first there would be but one tide till the moon receded to a greater
distance, and the earth moving round a common centre of gravity between
them, the water on the side furthest from the moon would acquire a
centrifugal force in respect to this common centre between itself and
the moon.]

IV. "GNOMES! you then bade dissolving SHELLS distil
From the loose summits of each shatter'd hill,
95 To each fine pore and dark interstice flow,
And fill with liquid chalk the mass below.
Whence sparry forms in dusky caverns gleam
With borrow'd light, and twice refract the beam;
While in white beds congealing rocks beneath
100 Court the nice chissel, and desire to breathe.--

[Footnote: _Dissolving shells distil_. l. 93. The lime-stone rocks have
had their origin from shells formed beneath the sea, the softer strata
gradually dissolving and filling up the interstices of the harder ones,
afterwards when these accumulations of shells were elevated above the
waters the upper strata became dissolved by the actions of the air and
dews, and filled up the interstices beneath, producing solid rocks of
different kinds from the coarse lime-stones to the finest marbles. When
those lime-stones have been in such a situation that they could form
perfect crystals they are called spars, some of which possess a double
refraction, as observed by Sir Isaac Newton. When these crystals are
jumbled together or mixed with some colouring impurities it is termed
marble, if its texture be equable and firm; if its texture be coarse and
porous yet hard, it is called lime-stone; if its texture be very loose
and porous it is termed chalk. In some rocks the shells remain almost
unchanged and only covered, or bedded with lime-stone, which seems to
have been dissolved and sunk down amongst them. In others the softer
shells and bones are dissolved, and only sharks teeth or harder echini
have preserved their form inveloped in the chalk or lime-stone; in some
marbles the solution has been compleat and no vestiges of shell appear,
as in the white kind called statuary by the workmen. See addit. notes,
No. XVI.]

"Hence wearied HERCULES in marble rears
His languid limbs, and rests a thousand years;
Still, as he leans, shall young ANTINOUS please
With careless grace, and unaffected ease;
105 Onward with loftier step APOLLO spring,
And launch the unerring arrow from the string;
In Beauty's bashful form, the veil unfurl'd,
Ideal VENUS win the gazing world.
Hence on ROUBILIAC'S tomb shall Fame sublime
110 Wave her triumphant wings, and conquer Time;
Long with soft touch shall DAMER'S chissel charm,
With grace delight us, and with beauty warm;
FOSTER'S fine form shall hearts unborn engage,
And MELBOURN's smile enchant another age.

[_Hence wearied Hercules_. l. 101. Alluding to the celebrated Hercules
of Glyco resting after his labours; and to the easy attitude of
Antinous; the lofty step of the Apollo of Belvidere; and the retreating
modesty of the Venus de Medici. Many of the designs by Roubiliac in
Westminster Abbey are uncommonly poetical; the allegory of Time and Fame
contending for the trophy of General Wade, which is here alluded to, is
beautifully told; the wings of Fame are still expanded, and her hair
still floating in the air; which not only shews that she has that moment
arrived, but also that her force is not yet expended; at the same time,
that the old figure of Time with his disordered wings is rather leaning
backwards and yielding to her impulse, and must apparently in another
instant be driven from his attack upon the trophy.]

[_Foster's fine form_. l. 113. Alluding to the beautiful statues of Lady
Elizabeth Foster and of Lady Melbourn executed by the ingenious Mrs.

115 V. GNOMES! you then taught transuding dews to pass
Through time-fall'n woods, and root-inwove morass
Age after age; and with filtration fine
Dispart, from earths and sulphurs, the saline.

[_Root-inwove morass_. l. 116. The great mass of matter which rests upon
the lime-stone strata of the earth, or upon the granite where the lime-
stone stratum has been removed by earthquakes or covered by lava, has
had its origin from the recrements of vegetables and of air-breathing
animals, as the lime-stone had its origin from sea animals. The whole
habitable world was originally covered with woods, till mankind formed
themselves into societies, and subdued them by fire and by steel. Hence
woods in uncultivated countries have grown and fallen through many ages,
whence morasses of immense extent; and from these as the more soluble
parts were washed away first, were produced sea-salt, nitre, iron, and
variety of acids, which combining with calcareous matter were productive
of many fossil bodies, as flint, sea-sand, selenite, with the precious
stones, and perhaps the diamond. See additional notes, No. XVII.]

1. "HENCE with diffusive SALT old Ocean steeps
120 His emerald shallows, and his sapphire deeps.
Oft in wide lakes, around their warmer brim
In hollow pyramids the crystals swim;
Or, fused by earth-born fires, in cubic blocks
Shoot their white forms, and harden into rocks.

[_Hence with diffusive salt_. l. 119. Salts of various kinds are
produced from the recrements of animal and vegetable bodies, such as
phosphoric, ammoniacal, marine salt, and others; these are washed from
the earth by rains, and carried down our rivers into the sea; they seem
all here to decompose each other except the marine salt, which has
therefore from the beginning of the habitable world been perpetually

There is a town in the immense salt-mines of Cracow in Poland, with a
market-place, a river, a church, and a famous statue, (here supposed to
be of Lot's wife) by the moist or dry appearance of which the
subterranean inhabitants are said to know when the weather is fair above
ground. The galleries in these mines are so numerous and so intricate,
that workmen have frequently lost their way, their lights having been
burnt out, and have perished before they could be found. Essais, &c. par
M. Macquart. And though the arches of these different stories of
galleries are boldly executed, yet they are not dangerous; as they are
held together or supported by large masses of timber of a foot square;
and these vast timbers remain perfectly sound for many centuries, while
all other pillars whether of brick, cement, or salt soon dissolve or
moulder away. Ibid. Could the timbers over water-mill wheels or cellars,
be thus preserved by occasionally soaking them with brine? These immense
masses of rock-salt seem to have been produced by the evaporation of
sea-water in the early periods of the world by subterranean fires. Dr.
Hutton's Theory of the Earth. See also Theorie des Sources Salees, par
Mr. Struve. Histoire de Sciences de Lausanne. Tom. II. This idea of Dr.
Hutton's is confirmed by a fact mentioned in M. Macquart's Essais sur
Minerologie, who found a great quantity of fossil shells, principally
bi-valves and madre-pores, in the salt-mines of Wialiczka near Cracow.
During the evaporation of the lakes of salt-water, as in artificial
salt-works, the salt begins to crystallize near the edges where the
water is shallowest, forming hollow inverted pyramids; which, when they
become of a certain size, subside by their gravity; if urged by a
stronger fire the salt fuses or forms large cubes; whence the salt
shaped in hollow pyramids, called flake-salt, is better tasted and
preserves flesh better, than the basket or powder salt; because it is
made by less heat and thence contains more of the marine acid. The sea-
water about our island contains from about one twenty-eighth to one
thirtieth part of sea-salt, and about one eightieth of magnesian salt.
See Brownrigg on Salt. See note on Ocymum, Vol. II. of this work.]

125 "Thus, cavern'd round in CRACOW'S mighty mines,
With crystal walls a gorgeous city shines;
Scoop'd in the briny rock long streets extend
Their hoary course, and glittering domes ascend;
Down the bright steeps, emerging into day,
130 Impetuous fountains burst their headlong way,
O'er milk-white vales in ivory channels spread,
And wondering seek their subterraneous bed.
Form'd in pellucid salt with chissel nice,
The pale lamp glimmering through the sculptured ice,
135 With wild reverted eyes fair LOTTA stands,
And spreads to Heaven, in vain, her glassy hands;
Cold dews condense upon her pearly breast,
And the big tear rolls lucid down her vest.
Far gleaming o'er the town transparent fanes
140 Rear their white towers, and wave their golden vanes;
Long lines of lustres pour their trembling rays,
And the bright vault returns the mingled blaze.

2. "HENCE orient NITRE owes it's sparkling birth,
And with prismatic crystals gems the earth,
145 O'er tottering domes in filmy foliage crawls,
Or frosts with branching plumes the mouldering walls.
As woos Azotic Gas the virgin Air,
And veils in crimson clouds the yielding Fair,
Indignant Fire the treacherous courtship flies,
150 Waves his light wing, and mingles with the skies.

[_Hence orient Nitre_. l. 143. Nitre is found in Bengal naturally
crystallized, and is swept by brooms from earths and stones, and thence
called sweepings of nitre. It has lately been found in large quantities
in a natural bason of calcareous earth at Molfetta in Italy, both in
thin strata between the calcareous beds, and in efflorescences of
various beautiful leafy and hairy forms. An account of this nitre-bed is
given by Mr. Zimmerman and abridged in Rozier's Journal de Physique
Fevrier. 1790. This acid appears to be produced in all situations where
animal and vegetable matters are compleatly decomposed, and which are
exposed to the action of the air as on the walls of stables, and
slaughter-houses; the crystals are prisms furrowed by longitudinal

Dr. Priestley discovered that nitrous air or gas which he obtained by
dissolving metals in nitrous acid, would combine rapidly with vital air,
and produce with it a true nitrous acid; forming red clouds during the
combination; the two airs occupy only the space before occupied by one
of them, and at the same time heat is given out from the new
combination. This dimunition of the bulk of a mixture of nitrous gas and
vital air, Dr. Priestley ingeniously used as a test of the purity of the
latter; a discovery of the greatest importance in the analysis of airs.

Mr. Cavendish has since demonstrated that two parts of vital air or
oxygene, and one part of phlogistic air or azote, being long exposed to
electric shocks, unite, and produce nitrous acid. Philos. Trans. Vols.

Azote is one of the most abundant elements in nature, and combined with
calorique or heat, it forms azotic gas or phlogistic air, and composes
two thirds of the atmosphere; and is one of the principal component
parts of animal bodies, and when united to vital air or oxygene produces
the nitrous acid. Mr. Lavoisier found that 211/2 parts by weight of
azote, and 431/2 parts of oxygene produced 64 parts of nitrous gas, and
by the further addition of 36 parts of oxygene nitrous acid was
produced. Traité de Chimie. When two airs become united so as to produce
an unelastic liquid much calorique or heat is of necessity expelled from
the new combination, though perhaps nitrous acid and oxygenated marine
acid admit more heat into their combinations than other acids.]

"So Beauty's GODDESS, warm with new desire,
Left, on her silver wheels, the GOD of Fire;
Her faithless charms to fiercer MARS resign'd,
Met with fond lips, with wanton arms intwin'd.
155 --Indignant VULCAN eyed the parting Fair,
And watch'd with jealous step the guilty pair;
O'er his broad neck a wiry net he flung,
Quick as he strode, the tinkling meshes rung;
Fine as the spider's flimsy thread He wove
160 The immortal toil to lime illicit love;
Steel were the knots, and steel the twisted thong,
Ring link'd in ring, indissolubly strong;
On viewless hooks along the fretted roof
He hung, unseen, the inextricable woof.--
165 --Quick start the springs, the webs pellucid spread,
And lock the embracing Lovers on their bed;
Fierce with loud taunts vindictive VULCAN springs,
Tries all the bolts, and tightens all the strings,
Shakes with incessant shouts the bright abodes,
170 Claps his rude hands, and calls the festive Gods.--
--With spreading palms the alarmed Goddess tries
To veil her beauties from celestial eyes,
Writhes her fair limbs, the slender ringlets strains,
And bids her Loves untie the obdurate chains;
175 Soft swells her panting bosom, as she turns,
And her flush'd cheek with brighter blushes burns.
Majestic grief the Queen of Heaven avows,
And chaste Minerva hides her helmed brows;
Attendant Nymphs with bashful eyes askance
180 Steal of intangled MARS a transient glance;
Surrounding Gods the circling nectar quaff,
Gaze on the Fair, and envy as they laugh.

3. "HENCE dusky IRON sleeps in dark abodes,
And ferny foliage nestles in the nodes;
185 Till with wide lungs the panting bellows blow,
And waked by fire the glittering torrents flow;
--Quick whirls the wheel, the ponderous hammer falls,
Loud anvils ring amid the trembling walls,
Strokes follow strokes, the sparkling ingot shines,
190 Flows the red slag, the lengthening bar refines;
Cold waves, immersed, the glowing mass congeal,
And turn to adamant the hissing Steel.

[_Hence dusky Iron_. l. 183. The production of iron from the
decomposition of vegetable bodies is perpetually presented to our view;
the waters oozing from all morasses are chalybeate, and deposit their
ochre on being exposed to the air, the iron acquiring a calciform state
from its union with oxygene or vital air. Where thin morasses lie on
beds of gravel the latter are generally stained by the filtration of
some of the chalybeate water through them. This formation of iron from
vegetable recrements is further evinced by the fern leaves and other
parts of vegetables, so frequently found in the centre of the knobs or
nodules of some iron-ores.

In some of these nodules there is a nucleus of whiter iron-earth
surrounded by many concentric strata of darker and lighter iron-earth
alternately. In one, which now lies before me, the nucleus is a prism of
a triangular form with blunted angles, and about half an inch high, and
an inch and half broad; on every side of this are concentric strata of
similar iron-earth alternately browner and less brown; each stratum is
about a tenth of an inch in thickness and there are ten of them in
number. To what known cause can this exactly regular distribution of so
many earthy strata of different colours surrounding the nucleus be
ascribed? I don't know that any mineralogists have attempted an
explanation of this wonderful phenomenon. I suspect it is owing to the
polarity of the central nucleus. If iron-filings be regularly laid on
paper by means of a small sieve, and a magnet be placed underneath, the
filings will dispose themselves in concentric curves with vacant
intervals between them. Now if these iron-filings are conceived to be
suspended in a fluid, whose specific gravity is similar to their own,
and a magnetic bar was introduced as an axis into this fluid, it is easy
to foresee that the iron filings would dispose themselves into
concentric spheres, with intervals of the circumnatant fluid between
them, exactly as is seen in these nodules of iron-earth. As all the
lavas consist of one fourth of iron, (Kirvan's Mineral) and almost all
other known bodies, whether of animal or vegetable origin, possess more
or less of this property, may not the distribution of a great portion of
the globe of the earth into strata of greater or less regularity be
owing to the polarity of the whole?]

[_And turn to adamant_. l. 192. The circumstances which render iron more
valuable to mankind than any other metal are, 1. its property of being
rendered hard to so great a degree and thus constituting such excellent
tools. It was the discovery of this property of iron, Mr. Locke thinks,
that gave such pre-eminence to the European world over the American one.
2. Its power of being welded; that is, when two pieces are made very hot
and applied together by hammering, they unite compleatly, unless any
scale of iron intervenes; and to prevent this it is usual for smiths to
dip the very hot bar in sand, a little of which fuses into fluid glass
with the scale and is squeezed out from between the uniting parts by the
force of hammering. 3. Its power of acquiring magnetism.

It is however to be wished that gold or silver were discovered in as
great quantity as iron, since these metals being indestructible by
exposure to air, water, fire or any common acids would supply wholesome
vessels for cookery, so much to be desired, and so difficult to obtain,
and would form the most light and durable coverings for houses, as well
as indestructible fire-grates, ovens, and boiling vessels. See
additional notes, No. XVIII. on Steel.]

"Last MICHELL'S hands with touch of potent charm
The polish'd rods with powers magnetic arm;
195 With points directed to the polar stars
In one long line extend the temper'd bars;
Then thrice and thrice with steady eye he guides,
And o'er the adhesive train the magnet slides;
The obedient Steel with living instinct moves,
200 And veers for ever to the pole it loves.

[_Last Michell's hands_. l. 193. The discovery of the magnet seems to
have been in very early times; it is mentioned by Plato, Lucretius,
Pliny, and Galen, and is said to have taken its name of magnes from
Magnesia, a sea-port of antient Lybia.

As every piece of iron which was made magnetical by the touch of a
magnet became itself a magnet, many attempts were made to improve these
artificial magnets, but without much success till Servingdon Savary,
Esq. made them of hardened steel bars, which were so powerful that one
of them weighing three pounds averdupois would lift another of the same
weight. Philos. Trans.

After this Dr. Knight made very successful experiments on this subject,
which, though he kept his method secret, seems to have excited others to
turn their attention to magnetism. At this time the Rev. Mr. Michell
invented an equally efficacious and more expeditious way of making
strong artificial magnets, which he published in the end of the year
1750, in which he explained his method of what he called "the double
touch", and which, since Mr. Knight's method has been known, appears to
be somewhat different from it.

This method of rendering bars of hardened steel magnetical consists in
holding vertically two or more magnetic bars nearly parallel to each
other with their opposite poles very near each other (but nevertheless
separated to a small distance), these are to be slided over a line of
bars laid horizontally a few times backward and forward. See Michell on
Magnetism, also a detailed account in Chamber's Dictionary.

What Mr. Michell proposed by this method was to include a very small
portion of the horizontal bars, intended to be made magnetical, between
the joint forces of two or more bars already magnetical, and by sliding
them from end to end every part of the line of bars became successively
included, and thus bars possessed of a very small degree of magnetism to
begin with, would in a few times sliding backwards and forwards make the
other ones much more magnetical than themselves, which are then to be
taken up and used to touch the former, which are in succession to be
laid down horizontally in a line.

There is still a great field remains for future discoveries in magnetism
both in respect to experiment and theory; the latter consists of vague
conjectures the more probable of which are perhaps those of Elpinus, as
they assimulate it to electricity.

One conjecture I shall add, viz. that the polarity of magnetism may be
owing to the earth's rotatory motion. If heat, electricity, and
magnetism are supposed to be fluids of different gravities, heat being
the heaviest of them, electricity the next heavy, and magnetism the
lightest, it is evident that by the quick revolution of the earth the
heat will be accumulated most over the line, electricity next beneath
this, and that the magnetism will be detruded to the poles and axis of
the earth, like the atmospheres of common air and of inflammable gas, as
explained in the note on Canto I. l. 123.

Electricity and heat will both of them displace magnetism, and this
shows that they may gravitate on each other; and hence when too great a
quantity of the electric fluid becomes accumulated at the poles by
descending snows, or other unknown causes, it may have a tendency to
rise towards the tropics by its centrifugal force, and produce the
northern lights. See additional notes, No. I.]

"Hail, adamantine STEEL! magnetic Lord!
King of the prow, the plowshare, and the sword!
True to the pole, by thee the pilot guides
His steady helm amid the struggling tides,
205 Braves with broad sail the immeasurable sea,
Cleaves the dark air, and asks no star but Thee.--
By thee the plowshare rends the matted plain,
Inhumes in level rows the living grain;
Intrusive forests quit the cultured ground,
210 And Ceres laughs with golden fillets crown'd.--
O'er restless realms when scowling Discord flings
Her snakes, and loud the din of battle rings;
Expiring Strength, and vanquish'd Courage feel
Thy arm resistless, adamantine STEEL!

215 4. "HENCE in fine streams diffusive ACIDS flow,
Or wing'd with fire o'er Earth's fair bosom blow;
Transmute to glittering Flints her chalky lands,
Or sink on Ocean's bed in countless Sands.
Hence silvery Selenite her chrystal moulds,
220 And soft Asbestus smooths his silky folds;
His cubic forms phosphoric Fluor prints,
Or rays in spheres his amethystine tints.
Soft cobweb clouds transparent Onyx spreads,
And playful Agates weave their colour'd threads;
225 Gay pictured Mochoes glow with landscape-dyes,
And changeful Opals roll their lucid eyes;
Blue lambent light around the Sapphire plays,
Bright Rubies blush, and living Diamonds blaze.

[_Diffusive Acids flow_. l. 215. The production of marine acid from
decomposing vegetable and animal matters with vital air, and of nitrous
acid from azote and vital air, the former of which is united to its
basis by means of the exhalations from vegetable and animal matters,
constitute an analogy which induces us to believe that many other acids
have either their bases or are united to vital air by means of some part
of decomposing vegetable and animal matters.

The great quantities of flint sand whether formed in mountains or in the
sea would appear to derive its acid from the new world, as it is found
above the strata of lime-stone and granite which constitute the old
world, and as the earthy basis of flint is probably calcareous, a great
part of it seems to be produced by a conjunction of the new and old
world; the recrements of air-breathing animals and vegetables probably
afford the acid, and the shells of marine animals the earthy basis,
while another part may have derived its calcareous part also from the
decomposition of vegetable and animal bodies.

The same mode of reasoning seems applicable to the siliceous stones
under various names, as amethyst, onyx, agate, mochoe, opal, &c. which
do not seem to have undergone any process from volcanic fires, and as
these stones only differ from flint by a greater or less admixture of
argillaceous and calcareous earths. The different proportions of which
in each kind of stone may be seen in Mr. Kirwan's valuable Elements of
Mineralogy. See additional notes, No. XIX.]

[_Living diamonds blaze_. l. 228. Sir Isaac Newton having observed the
great power of refracting light, which the diamond possesses above all
other crystallized or vitreous matter, conjectured that it was an
inflammable body in some manner congealed. Insomuch that all the light
is reflected which falls on any of its interior surfaces at a greater
angle of incidence than 241/2 degrees; whereas an artificial gem of
glass does not reflect any light from its hinder surface, unless that
surface is inclined in an angle of 41 degrees. Hence the diamond
reflects half as much more light as a factitious gem in similar
circumstances; to which must be added its great transparency, and the
excellent polish it is capable of. The diamond had nevertheless been
placed at the head of crystals or precious stones by the mineralogists,
till Bergman ranged it of late in the combustible class of bodies,
because by the focus of Villette's burning mirror it was evaporated by a
heat not much greater than will melt silver, and gave out light. Mr.
Hoepfner however thinks the dispersion of the diamond by this great heat
should be called a phosphorescent evaporation of it, rather than a
combustion; and from its other analogies of crystallization, hardness,
transparency, and place of its nativity, wishes again to replace it
amongst the precious stones. Observ. sur la Physique, par Rozier, Tom.
XXXV. p. 448. See new edition of the Translation of Cronsted, by De

"Thus, for attractive earth, inconstant JOVE
230 Mask'd in new shapes forsook his realms above.--
First her sweet eyes his Eagle-form beguiles,
And HEBE feeds him with ambrosial smiles;
Next the chang'd God a Cygnet's down assumes,
And playful LEDA smooths his glossy plumes;
235 Then glides a silver Serpent, treacherous guest!
And fair OLYMPIA folds him in her breast;
Now lows a milk-white Bull on Afric's strand,
And crops with dancing head the daisy'd land.--
With rosy wreathes EUROPA'S hand adorns
240 His fringed forehead, and his pearly horns;
Light on his back the sportive Damsel bounds,
And pleased he moves along the flowery grounds;
Bears with slow step his beauteous prize aloof,
Dips in the lucid flood his ivory hoof;
245 Then wets his velvet knees, and wading laves
His silky sides amid the dimpling waves.
While her fond train with beckoning hands deplore,
Strain their blue eyes, and shriek along the shore;
Beneath her robe she draws her snowy feet,
250 And, half-reclining on her ermine seat,
Round his raised neck her radiant arms she throws,
And rests her fair cheek on his curled brows;
Her yellow tresses wave on wanton gales,
And high in air her azure mantle sails.
255 --Onward He moves, applauding Cupids guide,
And skim on shooting wing the shining tide;
Emerging Triton's leave their coral caves,
Sound their loud conchs, and smooth the circling waves,
Surround the timorous Beauty, as she swims,
260 And gaze enamour'd on her silver limbs.
--Now Europe's shadowy shores with loud acclaim
Hail the fair fugitive, and shout her name;
Soft echoes warble, whispering forests nod,
And conscious Nature owns the present God.
265 --Changed from the Bull, the rapturous God assumes
Immortal youth, with glow celestial blooms,
With lenient words her virgin fears disarms,
And clasps the yielding Beauty in his arms;
Whence Kings and Heroes own illustrious birth,
270 Guards of mankind, and demigods on earth.

[_Inconstant Jove_. l. 229. The purer air or ether in the antient
mythology was represented by Jupiter, and the inferior air by Juno; and
the conjunction of these deities was said to produce the vernal showers,
and procreate all things, as is further spoken of in Canto III. l. 204.
It is now discovered that pure air, or oxygene, uniting with variety of
bases forms the various kinds of acids; as the vitriolic acid from pure
air and sulphur; the nitrous acid from pure air and phlogistic air, or
azote; and carbonic acid, (or fixed air,) from pure air and charcoal.
Some of these affinities were perhaps portrayed by the Magi of Egypt,
who were probably learned in chemistry, in their hieroglyphic pictures
before the invention of letters, by the loves of Jupiter with
terrestrial ladies. And thus physically as well as metaphysically might
be said "Jovis omnia plena."]

VI. "GNOMES! as you pass'd beneath the labouring soil,
The guards and guides of Nature's chemic toil,
YOU saw, deep-sepulchred in dusky realms,
Which Earth's rock-ribbed ponderous vault o'erwhelms,
275 With self-born fires the mass fermenting glow,
And flame-wing'd sulphurs quit the earths below.

[_With self-born fires_. l. 275. After the accumulation of plains and
mountains on the calcareous rocks or granite which had been previously
raised by volcanic fires, a second set of volcanic fires were produced
by the fermentation of this new mass, by which after the salts or acids
and iron had been washed away in part by elutriation, dissipated the
sulphurous parts which were insoluble in water; whence argillaceous and
siliceous earths were left in some places; in others, bitumen became
sublimed to the upper part of the stratum, producing coals of various
degrees of purity.]

1. "HENCE ductile CLAYS in wide expansion spread,
Soft as the Cygnet's down, their snow-white bed;
With yielding flakes successive forms reveal,
280 And change obedient to the whirling wheel.
--First CHINA'S sons, with early art elate,
Form'd the gay tea-pot, and the pictured plate;
Saw with illumin'd brow and dazzled eyes
In the red stove vitrescent colours rise;
285 Speck'd her tall beakers with enamel'd stars,
Her monster-josses, and gigantic jars;
Smear'd her huge dragons with metallic hues,
With golden purples, and cobaltic blues;
Bade on wide hills her porcelain castles glare,
290 And glazed Pagodas tremble in the air.

[_Hence ductile clays_ l. 277. See additional notes, No. XX.]

[_Saw with illumin'd brow_. l. 283. No colour is distinguishable in the
red-hot kiln but the red itself, till the workman introduces a small
piece of dry wood, which by producing a white flame renders all the
other colours visible in a moment.]

[_With golden purples_. l. 288. See additional notes, No. XXI.]

"ETRURIA! next beneath thy magic hands
Glides the quick wheel, the plaistic clay expands,
Nerved with fine touch, thy fingers (as it turns)
Mark the nice bounds of vases, ewers, and urns;
295 Round each fair form in lines immortal trace
Uncopied Beauty, and ideal Grace.

[_Etruria! next_. l. 291. Etruria may perhaps vie with China itself in
the antiquity of its arts. The times of its greatest splendour were
prior to the foundations of Rome, and the reign of one of its best
princes, Janus, was the oldest epoch the Romans knew. The earliest
historians speak of the Etruscans as being then of high antiquity, most
probably a colony from Phoenicia, to which a Pelasgian colony acceded,
and was united soon after Deucalion's flood. The peculiar character of
their earthern vases consists in the admirable beauty, simplicity, and
diversity of forms, which continue the best models of taste to the
artists of the present times; and in a species of non-vitreous encaustic
painting, which was reckoned, even in the time of Pliny, among the lost
arts of antiquity, but which has lately been recovered by the ingenuity
and industry of Mr. Wedgwood. It is supposed that the principal
manufactories were about Nola, at the foot of Vesuvius; for it is in
that neighbourhood that the greatest quantities of antique vases have
been found; and it is said that the general taste of the inhabitants is
apparently influenced by them; insomuch that strangers coming to Naples,
are commonly struck with the diversity and elegance even of the most
ordinary vases for common uses. See D'Hancarville's preliminary
discourses to the magnificent collection of Etruscan vases, published by
Sir William Hamilton.]

"GNOMES! as you now dissect with hammers fine
The granite-rock, the nodul'd flint calcine;
Grind with strong arm, the circling chertz betwixt,
300 Your pure Ka-o-lins and Pe-tun-tses mixt;
O'er each red saggars burning cave preside,
The keen-eyed Fire-Nymphs blazing by your side;
And pleased on WEDGWOOD ray your partial smile,
A new Etruria decks Britannia's isle.--
305 Charm'd by your touch, the flint liquescent pours
Through finer sieves, and falls in whiter showers;
Charm'd by your touch, the kneaded clay refines,
The biscuit hardens, the enamel shines;
Each nicer mould a softer feature drinks,
310 The bold Cameo speaks, the soft Intaglio thinks.

[Illustration: _H. Webber init J. Holloway sculpt Copied from Capt.
Phillip's Voyage to Botany Bay, by permission of the Proprietor_]

[Transcriber's note: names of painter and engraver are only guesswork.]

[Illustration: AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER]

"To call the pearly drops from Pity's eye,
Or stay Despair's disanimating sigh,
Whether, O Friend of art! the gem you mould
Rich with new taste, with antient virtue bold;
315 Form the poor fetter'd SLAVE on bended knee
From Britain's sons imploring to be free;
Or with fair HOPE the brightening scenes improve,
And cheer the dreary wastes at Sydney-cove;
Or bid Mortality rejoice and mourn
320 O'er the fine forms on PORTLAND'S mystic urn.--

[_Form the poor fetter'd Slave_. l. 315. Alluding to two cameos of Mr.
Wedgwood's manufacture; one of a Slave in chains, of which he
distributed many hundreds, to excite the humane to attend to and to
assist in the abolition of the detestable traffic in human creatures;
and the other a cameo of Hope attended by Peace, and Art, and Labour;
which was made of clay from Botany Bay; to which place he sent many of
them to shew the inhabitants what their materials would do, and to
encourage their industry. A print of this latter medallion is prefixed
to Mr. Stockdale's edition of Philip's Expedition to Botany Bay.]

[_Portland's mystic urn_. l. 320. See additional notes, No. XXII.]

"_Here_ by fall'n columns and disjoin'd arcades,
On mouldering stones, beneath deciduous shades,
Sits HUMANKIND in hieroglyphic state,
Serious, and pondering on their changeful state;
325 While with inverted torch, and swimming eyes,
Sinks the fair shade of MORTAL LIFE, and dies.
_There_ the pale GHOST through Death's wide portal bends
His timid feet, the dusky steep descends;
With smiles assuasive LOVE DIVINE invites,
330 Guides on broad wing, with torch uplifted lights;
IMMORTAL LIFE, her hand extending, courts
The lingering form, his tottering step supports;
Leads on to Pluto's realms the dreary way,
And gives him trembling to Elysian day.
335 _Beneath_ in sacred robes the PRIESTESS dress'd,
The coif close-hooded, and the fluttering vest,
With pointing finger guides the initiate youth,
Unweaves the many-colour'd veil of Truth,
Drives the profane from Mystery's bolted door,
340 And Silence guards the Eleusinian lore.--

[Illustration: _The Portland Vase_]

[Illustration: _The first Compartment_, London Published Dec'r 1st 1791
by J. Johnson, St. Paul's Church Yard.]

[Transcriber's note: 2nd line with date very small and nearly illegible]

[Illustration: _The second Compartment_]

[Illustration: _The Handles & Bottom of the Vase._ London Published
Dec'r 1st 1791 by J. Johnson, St. Paul's Church Yard.]

"Whether, O Friend of Art! your gems derive
Fine forms from Greece, and fabled Gods revive;
Or bid from modern life the Portrait breathe,
And bind round Honour's brow the laurel wreath;
345 Buoyant shall sail, with Fame's historic page,
Each fair medallion o'er the wrecks of age;
Nor Time shall mar; nor steel, nor fire, nor rust
Touch the hard polish of the immortal bust.

[_Fine forms from Greece_. l. 342. In real stones, or in paste or soft
coloured glass, many pieces of exquisite workmanship were produced by
the antients. Basso-relievos of various sizes were made in coarse brown
earth of one colour; but of the improved kind of two or more colours,
and of a true porcelain texture, none were made by the antients, nor
attempted I believe by the moderns, before those of Mr. Wedgwood's

2. "HENCE sable COAL his massy couch extends,
350 And stars of gold the sparkling Pyrite blends;
Hence dull-eyed Naphtha pours his pitchy streams,
And Jet uncolour'd drinks the solar beams,
Bright Amber shines on his electric throne,
And adds ethereal lustres to his own.
355 --Led by the phosphor-light, with daring tread
Immortal FRANKLIN sought the fiery bed;
Where, nursed in night, incumbent Tempest shrouds
The seeds of Thunder in circumfluent clouds,
Besieged with iron points his airy cell,
360 And pierced the monster slumbering in the shell.

[_Hence sable Coal_. l. 349. See additional notes, No. XXIII. on coal.]

[_Bright Amber shines_. l. 353. Coal has probably all been sublimed more
or less from the clay, with which it was at first formed in decomposing
morasses; the petroleum seems to have been separated and condensed again
in superior strata, and a still finer kind of oil, as naphtha, has
probably had the same origin. Some of these liquid oils have again lost
their more volatile parts, and become cannel-coal, asphaltum, jet, and
amber, according to the purity of the original fossil oil. Dr. Priestley
has shewn, that essential oils long exposed to the atmosphere absorb
both the vital and phlogistic part of it; whence it is probable their
becoming solid may in great measure depend, as well as by the exhalation
of their more volatile parts. On distillation with volatile alcaly all
these fossil oils are shewn to contain the acid of amber, which evinces
the identity of their origin. If a piece of amber be rubbed it attracts
straws and hairs, whence the discovery of electricity, and whence its
name, from electron the Greek word for amber.]

[_Immortal Franklin_. l. 356. See note on Canto I. l. 383.]

"So, born on sounding pinions to the WEST,
When Tyrant-Power had built his eagle nest;
While from his eyry shriek'd the famish'd brood,
Clenched their sharp claws, and champ'd their beaks for blood,
365 Immortal FRANKLIN watch'd the callow crew,
And stabb'd the struggling Vampires, ere they flew.
--The patriot-flame with quick contagion ran,
Hill lighted hill, and man electrised man;
Her heroes slain awhile COLUMBIA mourn'd,
370 And crown'd with laurels LIBERTY return'd.

"The Warrior, LIBERTY, with bending sails
Helm'd his bold course to fair HIBERNIA'S vales;--
Firm as he steps, along the shouting lands,
Lo! Truth and Virtue range their radiant bands;
375 Sad Superstition wails her empire torn,
Art plies his oar, and Commerce pours her horn.

"Long had the Giant-form on GALLIA'S plains
Inglorious slept, unconscious of his chains;
Round his large limbs were wound a thousand strings
380 By the weak hands of Confessors and Kings;
O'er his closed eyes a triple veil was bound,
And steely rivets lock'd him to the ground;
While stern Bastile with iron cage inthralls
His folded limbs, and hems in marble walls.
385 --Touch'd by the patriot-flame, he rent amazed
The flimsy bonds, and round and round him gazed;
Starts up from earth, above the admiring throng
Lifts his Colossal form, and towers along;
High o'er his foes his hundred arms He rears,
390 Plowshares his swords, and pruning hooks his spears;
Calls to the Good and Brave with voice, that rolls
Like Heaven's own thunder round the echoing poles;
Gives to the winds his banner broad unfurl'd,
And gathers in its shade the living world!

[_While stern Bastile_. l. 383. "We descended with great difficulty into
the dungeons, which were made too low for our standing upright; and were
so dark, that we were obliged at noon-day to visit them by the light of
a candle. We saw the hooks of those chains, by which the prisoners were
fastened by their necks to the walls of their cells; many of which being
below the level of the water were in a constant state of humidity; from
which issued a noxious vapour, which more than once extinguished the
candles. Since the destruction of the building many subterraneous cells
have been discovered under a piece of ground, which seemed only a bank
of solid earth before the horrid secrets of this prison-house were
disclosed. Some skeletons were found in these recesses with irons still
fastened to their decayed bones." Letters from France, by H.M. Williams,
p. 24.]

395 VII. "GNOMES! YOU then taught volcanic airs to force
Through bubbling Lavas their resistless course,
O'er the broad walls of rifted Granite climb,
And pierce the rent roof of incumbent Lime,
Round sparry caves metallic lustres fling,
400 And bear phlogiston on their tepid wing.

[_And pierce the rent roof_. l. 398. The granite rocks and the limestone
rocks have been cracked to very great depths at the time they were
raised up by subterranean fires; in these cracks are found most of the
metallic ores, except iron and perhaps manganese, the former of which is
generally found in horizontal strata, and the latter generally near the
surface of the earth.

Philosophers possessing so convenient a test for the discovery of iron
by the magnet, have long since found it in all vegetable and animal
matters; and of late Mr. Scheele has discovered the existence of
manganese in vegetable ashes. Scheele, 56 mem. Stock. 1774. Kirwan. Min.
353. Which accounts for the production of it near the surface of earth,
and thence for its calciform appearance, or union with vital air.
Bergman has likewise shewn, that the limestones which become bluish or
dark coloured when calcined, possess a mixture of manganese, and are
thence preferable as a cement to other kinds of lime. 2. Bergman, 229.
Which impregnation with manganese has probably been received from the
decomposition of superincumbent vegetable matters.

These cracks or perpendicular caverns in the granite or limestone pass
to unknown depths; and it is up these channels that I have endeavoured
to shew that the steam rises which becomes afterwards condensed and
produces the warm springs of this island, and other parts of the world.
(See note on Fucus, Vol. II.) And up these cracks I suppose certain
vapours arise, which either alone, or by meeting with something
descending into them from above, have produced most of the metals; and
several of the materials in which they are bedded. Thus the ponderous
earth, Barytes, of Derbyshire, is found in these cracks, and is
stratified frequently with lead-ore, and frequently surrounds it. This
ponderous earth has been found by Dr. Hoepfner in a granite in
Switzerland, and may have thus been sublimed from immense depths by
great heat, and have obtained its carbonic or vitriolic acid from above.
Annales de Chimie. There is also reason to conclude that something from
above is necessary to the formation of many of the metals: at Hawkstone
in Shropshire, the seat of Sir Richard Hill, there is an elevated rock
of siliceous sand which is coloured green with copper in many places
high in the air; and I have in my possession a specimen of lead formed
in the cavity of an iron nodule, and another of lead amid spar from a
crack of a coal-stratum; all which countenance the modern production of
those metals from descending materials. To which should be added, that
the highest mountains of granite, which have therefore probably never
been covered with marine productions on account of their early
elevation, nor with vegetable or animal matters on account of their
great coldness, contain no metallic ores, whilst the lower ones contain
copper and tin in their cracks or veins, both in Saxony, Silesia, and
Cornwall. Kirwan's Mineral. p. 374.

The transmutation of one metal into another, though hitherto
undiscovered by the alchymists, does not appear impossible; such
transmutations have been supposed to exist in nature, thus lapis
calaminaris may have been produced from the destruction of lead-ore, as
it is generally found on the top of the veins of lead, where it has been
calcined or united with air, and because masses of lead-ore are often
found intirely inclosed in it. So silver is found mixed in almost all
lead-ores, and sometimes in seperate filaments within the cavities of
lead-ore, as I am informed by Mr. Michell, and is thence probably a
partial transmutation of the lead to silver, the rapid progress of
modern chemistry having shewn the analogy between metallic calces and
acids, may lead to the power of transmuting their bases: a discovery
much to be wished.]

"HENCE glows, refulgent Tin! thy chrystal grains,
And tawny Copper shoots her azure veins;
Zinc lines his fretted vault with sable ore,
And dull Galena tessellates the floor;
405 On vermil beds in Idria's mighty caves
The living Silver rolls its ponderous waves;
With gay refractions bright Platina shines,
And studs with squander'd stars his dusky mines;
Long threads of netted gold, and silvery darts,
410 Inlay the Lazuli, and pierce the Quartz;--
--Whence roof'd with silver beam'd PERU, of old,
And hapless MEXICO was paved with gold.

"Heavens! on my sight what sanguine colours blaze!
Spain's deathless shame! the crimes of modern days!
415 When Avarice, shrouded in Religion's robe,
Sail'd to the West, and slaughter'd half the globe;
While Superstition, stalking by his side,
Mock'd the loud groans, and lap'd the bloody tide;
For sacred truths announced her frenzied dreams,
420 And turn'd to night the sun's meridian beams.--
Hear, oh, BRITANNIA! potent Queen of isles,
On whom fair Art, and meek Religion smiles,
Now AFRIC'S coasts thy craftier sons invade
With murder, rapine, theft,--and call it Trade!
425 --The SLAVE, in chains, on supplicating knee,
Spreads his wide arms, and lifts his eyes to Thee;
With hunger pale, with wounds and toil oppress'd,
"ARE WE NOT BRETHREN?" sorrow choaks the rest;--
--AIR! bear to heaven upon thy azure flood
430 Their innocent cries!--EARTH! cover not their blood!

VIII. "When Heaven's dread justice smites in crimes o'ergrown
The blood-nursed Tyrant on his purple throne,
GNOMES! YOUR bold forms unnumber'd arms outstretch,
And urge the vengeance o'er the guilty wretch.--
435 Thus when CAMBYSES led his barbarous hosts
From Persia's rocks to Egypt's trembling coasts,
Defiled each hallowed fane, and sacred wood,
And, drunk with fury, swell'd the Nile with blood;
Waved his proud banner o'er the Theban states,
440 And pour'd destruction through her hundred gates;
In dread divisions march'd the marshal'd bands,
And swarming armies blacken'd all the lands,
By Memphis these to ETHIOP'S sultry plains,
And those to HAMMON'S sand-incircled fanes.--
445 Slow as they pass'd, the indignant temples frown'd,
Low curses muttering from the vaulted ground;
Long ailes of Cypress waved their deepen'd glooms,
And quivering spectres grinn'd amid the tombs;
Prophetic whispers breathed from S
450 And MEMNON'S lyre with hollow murmurs rung;
Burst from each pyramid expiring groans,
And darker shadows stretch'd their lengthen'd cones.--
Day after day their deathful rout They steer,
Lust in the van, and rapine in the rear.

[_Thus when Cambyses_. l. 435. Cambyses marched one army from Thebes,
after having overturned the temples, ravaged the country, and deluged it
with blood, to subdue Ethiopia; this army almost perished by famine,
insomuch, that they repeatedly slew every tenth man to supply the
remainder with food. He sent another army to plunder the temple of
Jupiter Ammon, which perished overwhelm'd with sand.]

[_Expiring groans_. l. 451. Mr. Savery or Mr. Volney in their Travels
through Egypt has given a curious description of one of the pyramids,
with the operose method of closing them, and immuring the body, (as they
supposed) for six thousand years. And has endeavoured from thence to
shew, that, when a monarch died, several of his favourite courtiers were
inclosed alive with the mummy in these great masses of stone-work; and
had food and water conveyed to them, as long as they lived, proper
apertures being left for this purpose, and for the admission of air, and
for the exclusion of any thing offensive.]

455 "GNOMES! as they march'd, You hid the gathered fruits,
The bladed grass, sweet grains, and mealy roots;
Scared the tired quails, that journey'd o'er their heads,
Retain'd the locusts in their earthy beds;
Bade on your sands no night-born dews distil,
460 Stay'd with vindictive hands the scanty rill.--
Loud o'er the camp the Fiend of Famine shrieks,
Calls all her brood, and champs her hundred beaks;
O'er ten square leagues her pennons broad expand,
And twilight swims upon the shuddering sand;
465 Perch'd on her crest the Griffin Discord clings,
And Giant Murder rides between her wings;
Blood from each clotted hair, and horny quill,
And showers of tears in blended streams distil;
High-poised in air her spiry neck she bends,
470 Rolls her keen eye, her Dragon-claws extends,
Darts from above, and tears at each fell swoop
With iron fangs the decimated troop.

"Now o'er their head the whizzing whirlwinds breathe,
And the live desert pants, and heaves beneath;
475 Tinged by the crimson sun, vast columns rise
Of eddying sands, and war amid the skies,
In red arcades the billowy plain surround,
And stalking turrets dance upon the ground.
--Long ranks in vain their shining blades extend,
480 To Demon-Gods their knees unhallow'd bend,
Wheel in wide circle, form in hollow square,
And now they front, and now they fly the war,
Pierce the deaf tempest with lamenting cries,
Press their parch'd lips, and close their blood-shot eyes.
485 --GNOMES! o'er the waste YOU led your myriad powers,
Climb'd on the whirls, and aim'd the flinty showers!--
Onward resistless rolls the infuriate surge,
Clouds follow clouds, and mountains mountains urge;
Wave over wave the driving desert swims,
490 Bursts o'er their heads, inhumes their struggling limbs;
Man mounts on man, on camels camels rush,
Hosts march o'er hosts, and nations nations crush,--
Wheeling in air the winged islands fall,
And one great earthy Ocean covers all!--
495 Then ceased the storm,--NIGHT bow'd his Ethiop brow
To earth, and listen'd to the groans below,--
Grim HORROR shook,--awhile the living hill
Heaved with convulsive throes,--and all was still!

[_And stalking turrets_. l. 478. "At one o'clock we alighted among some
acacia trees at Waadi el Halboub, having gone twenty-one miles. We were
here at once surprised and terrified by a sight surely one of the most
magnificent in the world. In that vast expanse of desert, from W. to
N.W. of us, we saw a number of prodigious pillars of sand at different
distances, at times moving with great celerity, at others stalking on
with a majestic slowness; at intervals we thought they were coming in a
very few minutes to overwhelm us; and small quantities of sand did
actually more than once reach us. Again they would retreat so as to be
almost out of sight, their tops reaching to the very clouds. There the
tops often separated from the bodies; and these, once disjoined,
dispersed in the air, and did not appear more. Sometimes they were
broken in the middle, as if struck with large cannon-shot. About noon
they began to advance with considerable swiftness upon us, the wind
being very strong at north. Eleven of them ranged along side of us about
the distance of three miles. The greatest diameter of the largest
appeared to me at that distance as if it would measure ten feet. They
retired from us with a wind at S.E. leaving an impression upon my mind
to which I can give no name, though surely one ingredient in it was
fear, with a considerable deal of wonder and astonishment. It was in
vain to think of flying; the swiftest horse, or fastest sailing ship,
could be of no use to carry us out of this danger; and the full
persuasion of this rivetted me as if to the spot where I stood.

"The same appearance of moving pillars of sand presented themselves to
us this day in form and disposition like those we had seen at Waadi
Halboub, only they seemed to be more in number and less in size. They
came several times in a direction close upon us, that is, I believe,
within less than two miles. They began immediately after sun rise like a
thick wood and almost darkened the sun. His rays shining through them
for near an hour, gave them an appearance of pillars of fire. Our people
now became desperate, the Greeks shrieked out and said it was the day of
judgment; Ismael pronounced it to be hell; and the Turcorories, that the
world was on fire." Bruce's Travels, Vol. IV. p. 553,-555.

From this account it would appear, that the eddies of wind were owing to
the long range of broken rocks, which bounded one side of the sandy
desert, and bent the currents of air, which struck against their sides;
and were thus like the eddies in a stream of water, which falls against
oblique obstacles. This explanation is probably the true one, as these
whirl-winds were not attended with rain or lightening like the tornadoes
of the West-Indies.]

IX. "GNOMES! whose fine forms, impassive as the air,
500 Shrink with soft sympathy for human care;
Who glide unseen, on printless slippers borne,
Beneath the waving grass, and nodding corn;
Or lay your tiny limbs, when noon-tide warms,
Where shadowy cowslips stretch their golden arms,--
505 So mark'd on orreries in lucid signs,
Star'd with bright points the mimic zodiac shines;
Borne on fine wires amid the pictured skies
With ivory orbs the planets set and rise;
Round the dwarf earth the pearly moon is roll'd,
510 And the sun twinkling whirls his rays of gold.--
Call your bright myriads, march your mailed hosts,
With spears and helmets glittering round the coasts;
Thick as the hairs, which rear the Lion's mane,
Or fringe the Boar, that bays the hunter-train;
515 Watch, where proud Surges break their treacherous mounds,
And sweep resistless o'er the cultured grounds;
Such as erewhile, impell'd o'er Belgia's plain,
Roll'd her rich ruins to the insatiate main;
With piles and piers the ruffian waves engage,
520 And bid indignant Ocean stay his rage.

[_So mark'd on orreries_. l. 505. The first orrery was constructed by a
Mr. Rowley, a mathematician born at Lichfield; and so named from his
patron the Earl of Orrery. Johnson's Dictionary.]

"Where, girt with clouds, the rifted mountain yawns,
And chills with length of shade the gelid lawns,
Climb the rude steeps, the granite-cliffs surround,
Pierce with steel points, with wooden wedges wound;
525 Break into clays the soft volcanic slaggs,
Or melt with acid airs the marble craggs;
Crown the green summits with adventurous flocks,
And charm with novel flowers the wondering rocks.
--So when proud Rome the Afric Warrior braved,
530 And high on Alps his crimson banner waved;
While rocks on rocks their beetling brows oppose
With piny forests, and unfathomed snows;
Onward he march'd, to Latium's velvet ground
With fires and acids burst the obdurate bound,
535 Wide o'er her weeping vales destruction hurl'd,
And shook the rising empire of the world.

[_The granite-cliffs._ l. 523. On long exposure to air the granites or
porphories of this country exhibit a ferrugenous crust, the iron being
calcined by the air first becomes visible, and is then washed away from
the external surface, which becomes white or grey, and thus in time
seems to decompose. The marbles seem to decompose by loosing their
carbonic acid, as the outside, which has been long exposed to the air,
does not seem to effervesce so hastily with acids as the parts more
recently broken. The immense quantity of carbonic acid, which exists in
the many provinces of lime-stone, if it was extricated and decomposed
would afford charcoal enough for fuel for ages, or for the production of
new vegetable or animal bodies. The volcanic slaggs on Mount Vesuvius
are said by M. Ferber to be changed into clay by means of the sulphur-
acid, and even pots made of clay and burnt or vitrified are said by him
to be again reducible to ductile clay by the volcanic steams. Ferber's
Travels through Italy, p. 166.]

[_Wooden wedges wound_. l. 524. It is usual in seperating large mill-
stones from the siliceous sand-rocks in some parts of Derbyshire to bore
horizontal holes under them in a circle, and fill these with pegs made
of dry wood, which gradually swell by the moisture of the earth, and in
a day or two lift up the mill-stone without breaking it.]

[_With fires and acids_. l. 534. Hannibal was said to erode his way over
the Alps by fire and vinegar. The latter is supposed to allude to the
vinegar and water which was the beverage of his army. In respect to the
former it is not improbable, but where wood was to be had in great
abundance, that fires made round limestone precipices would calcine them
to a considerable depth, the night-dews or mountain-mists would
penetrate these calcined parts and pulverize them by the force of the
steam which the generated heat would produce, the winds would disperse
this lime-powder, and thus by repeated fires a precipice of lime-stone
might be destroyed and a passage opened. It should be added, that
according to Ferber's observations, these Alps consist of lime-stone.
Letters from Italy.]

X. "Go, gentle GNOMES! resume your vernal toil,
Seek my chill tribes, which sleep beneath the soil;
On grey-moss banks, green meads, or furrow'd lands
540 Spread the dark mould, white lime, and crumbling sands;
Each bursting bud with healthier juices feed,
Emerging scion, or awaken'd seed.
So, in descending streams, the silver Chyle
Streaks with white clouds the golden floods of bile;
545 Through each nice valve the mingling currents glide,
Join their fine rills, and swell the sanguine tide;
Each countless cell, and viewless fibre seek,
Nerve the strong arm, and tinge the blushing cheek.

"Oh, watch, where bosom'd in the teeming earth,
550 Green swells the germ, impatient for its birth;
Guard from rapacious worms its tender shoots,
And drive the mining beetle from its roots;
With ceaseless efforts rend the obdurate clay,
And give my vegetable babes to day!
555 --Thus when an Angel-form, in light array'd,
Like HOWARD pierced the prison's noisome shade;
Where chain'd to earth, with eyes to heaven upturn'd,
The kneeling Saint in holy anguish mourn'd;--
Ray'd from his lucid vest, and halo'd brow
560 O'er the dark roof celestial lustres glow,
"PETER, arise!" with cheering voice He calls,
And sounds seraphic echo round the walls;
Locks, bolts, and chains his potent touch obey,
And pleased he leads the dazzled Sage to day.

565 XI. "YOU! whose fine fingers fill the organic cells,
With virgin earth, of woods and bones and shells;
Mould with retractile glue their spongy beds,
And stretch and strengthen all their fibre-threads.--
Late when the mass obeys its changeful doom,
570 And sinks to earth, its cradle and its tomb,
GNOMES! with nice eye the slow solution watch,
With fostering hand the parting atoms catch,
Join in new forms, combine with life and sense,
And guide and guard the transmigrating Ens.

[_Mould with retractile glue_. l. 567. The constituent parts of animal
fibres are believed to be earth and gluten. These do not seperate except
by long putrefaction or by fire. The earth then effervesces with acids,
and can only be converted into glass by the greatest force of fire. The
gluten has continued united with the earth of the bones above 2000 years
in Egyptian mummies; but by long exposure to air or moisture it
diffolves and leaves only the earth. Hence bones long buried, when
exposed to the air, absorb moisture and crumble into powder. Phil.
Trans. No. 475. The retractibility or elasticity of the animal fibre
depends on the gluten; and of these fibres are composed the membranes
muscles and bones. Haller. Physiol. Tom. I, p. 2.

For the chemical decomposition of animal and vegetable bodies see the
ingenious work of Lavoisier, Traité de Chimie, Tom. I. p. 132. who
resolves all their component parts into oxygene, hydrogene, carbone, and
azote, the three former of which belong principally to vegetable and the
last to animal matter.]

[_The transmigrating Ens_. l. 574, The perpetual circulation of matter
in the growth and dissolution of vegetable and animal bodies seems to
have given Pythagoras his idea of the metempsycosis or transmigration of
spirit; which was afterwards dressed out or ridiculed in variety of
amusing fables. Other philosophers have supposed, that there are two
different materials or essences, which fill the universe. One of these,
which has the power of commencing or producing motion, is called spirit;
the other, which has the power of receiving and of communicating motion,
but not of beginning it, is called matter. The former of these is
supposed to be diffused through all space, filling up the interstices of
the suns and planets, and constituting the gravitations of the sidereal
bodies, the attractions of chemistry, with the spirit of vegetation, and
of animation. The latter occupies comparatively but small space,
constituting the solid parts of the suns and planets, and their
atmospheres. Hence these philosophers have supposed, that both matter
and spirit are equally immortal and unperishable; and that on the
dissolution of vegetable or animal organization, the matter returns to
the general mass of matter; and the spirit to the general mass of
spirit, to enter again into new combinations, according to the original
idea of Pythagoras.

The small apparent quantity of matter that exists in the universe
compared to that of spirit, and the short time in which the recrements
of animal or vegetable bodies become again vivified in the forms of
vegetable mucor or microscopic insects, seems to have given rise to
another curious fable of antiquity. That Jupiter threw down a large
handful of souls upon the earth, and left them to scramble for the few
bodies which were to be had.]

575 "So when on Lebanon's sequester'd hight
The fair ADONIS left the realms of light,
Bow'd his bright locks, and, fated from his birth
To change eternal, mingled with the earth;--
With darker horror shook the conscious wood,
580 Groan'd the sad gales, and rivers blush'd with blood;
On cypress-boughs the Loves their quivers hung,
Their arrows scatter'd, and their bows unstrung;
And BEAUTY'S GODDESS, bending o'er his bier,
Breathed the soft sigh, and pour'd the tender tear.--
585 Admiring PROSERPINE through dusky glades
Led the fair phantom to Elysian shades,
Clad with new form, with finer sense combined,
And lit with purer flame the ethereal mind.
--Erewhile, emerging from infernal night,
590 The bright Assurgent rises into light,
Leaves the drear chambers of the insatiate tomb,
And shines and charms with renovated bloom.--
While wondering Loves the bursting grave surround,
And edge with meeting wings the yawning ground,
595 Stretch their fair necks, and leaning o'er the brink
View the pale regions of the dead, and shrink;
Long with broad eyes ecstatic BEAUTY stands,
Heaves her white bosom, spreads her waxen hands;
Then with loud shriek the panting Youth alarms,
600 "My Life! my Love!" and springs into his arms."

[_Adonis_. l. 576. The very antient story of the beautiful Adonis
passing one half of the year with Venus, and the other with Proserpine
alternately, has had variety of interpretations. Some have supposed that
it allegorized the summer and winter solstice; but this seems too
obvious a fact to have needed an hieroglyphic emblem. Others have
believed it to represent the corn, which was supposed to sleep in the
earth during the winter months, and to rise out of it in summer. This
does not accord with the climate of Egypt, where the harvest soon
follows the seed-time.

It seems more probably to have been a story explaining some hieroglyphic
figures representing the decomposition and resuscitation of animal
matter; a sublime and interesting subject, and which seems to have given
origin to the doctrine of the transmigration, which had probably its
birth also from the hieroglyphic treasures of Egypt. It is remarkable
that the cypress groves in the ancient greek writers, as in Theocritus,
were dedicated to Venus; and afterwards became funereal emblems. Which
was probably occasioned by the Cypress being an accompaniment of Venus
in the annual processions, in which she was supposed to lament over the
funeral of Adonis; a ceremony which obtained over all the eastern world
from great antiquity, and is supposed to be referred to by Ezekiel, who
accuses the idolatrous woman of weeping for Thammus.]

The GODDESS ceased,--the delegated throng
O'er the wide plains delighted rush along;
In dusky squadrons, and in shining groups,
Hosts follow hosts, and troops succeed to troops;
605 Scarce bears the bending grass the moving freight,
And nodding florets bow beneath their weight.
So when light clouds on airy pinions sail,
Flit the soft shadows o'er the waving vale;
Shade follows shade, as laughing Zephyrs drive,
610 And all the chequer'd landscape seems alive.

[_Zephyrs drive_. l. 609. These lines were originally written thus,

Shade follows shade by laughing Zephyrs drove,
And all the chequer'd landscape seems to move.

but were altered on account of the supposed false grammar in using the
word drove for driven, according to the opinion of Dr. Lowth: at the
same time it may be observed, 1. that this is in many cases only an
ellipsis of the letter _n_ at the end of the word; as froze, for frozen;
wove, for woven; spoke, for spoken; and that then the participle
accidentally becomes similar to the past tense: 2. that the language
seems gradually tending to omit the letter _n_ in other kind of words
for the sake of euphony; as housen is become houses; eyne, eyes; thine,
thy, &c. and in common conversation, the words forgot, spoke, froze,
rode, are frequently used for forgotten, spoken, frozen, ridden. 3. It
does not appear that any confusion would follow the indiscriminate use
of the same word for the past tense and the participle passive, since
the auxiliary verb _have_, or the preceding noun or pronoun always
clearly distinguishes them: and lastly, rhime-poetry must lose the use
of many elegant words without this license.]

_Argument of the Third Canto._

Address to the Nymphs. I. Steam rises from the ocean, floats in clouds,
descends in rain and dew, or is condensed on hills, produces springs,
and rivers, and returns to the sea. So the blood circulates through the
body and returns to the heart. 11. II. 1. Tides, 57. 2. Echinus,
nautilus, pinna, cancer. Grotto of a mermaid. 65. 3. Oil stills the
waves. Coral rocks. Ship-worm, or Teredo. Maelstrome, a whirlpool on the
coast of Norway. 85. III. Rivers from beneath the snows on the Alps. The
Tiber. 103. IV. Overflowing of the Nile from African Monsoons, 129. V.
1. Giesar, a boiling fountain in Iceland, destroyed by inundation, and
consequent earthquake, 145. 2. Warm medicinal springs. Buxton. Duke and
Dutchess of Devonshire. 157. VI. Combination of vital air and
inflammable gas produces water. Which is another source of springs and
rivers. Allegorical loves of Jupiter and Juno productive of vernal
showers. 201. VII. Aquatic Taste. Distant murmur of the sea by night.
Sea-horse. Nereid singing. 261. VIII. The Nymphs of the river Derwent
lament the death of Mrs. French, 297. IX. Inland navigation. Monument
for Mr. Brindley, 341. X. Pumps explained. Child sucking. Mothers
exhorted to nurse their children. Cherub sleeping. 365. XI. Engines for
extinguishing fire. Story of two lovers perishing in the flames. 397.
XII. Charities of Miss Jones, 447. XIII. Marshes drained. Hercules
conquers Achilous. The horn of Plenty. 483. XIV. Showers. Dews. Floating
lands with water. Lacteal system in animals. Caravan drinking. 529.
Departure of the Nymphs like water spiders; like northern nations
skaiting on the ice. 569.



AGAIN the GODDESS speaks!--glad Echo swells
The tuneful tones along her shadowy dells,
Her wrinkling founts with soft vibration shakes,
Curls her deep wells, and rimples all her lakes,
5 Thrills each wide stream, Britannia's isle that laves,
Her headlong cataracts, and circumfluent waves.
--Thick as the dews, which deck the morning flowers,
Or rain-drops twinkling in the sun-bright showers,
Fair Nymphs, emerging in pellucid bands,
10 Rise, as she turns, and whiten all the lands.

I. "YOUR buoyant troops on dimpling ocean tread,
Wafting the moist air from his oozy bed,
AQUATIC NYMPHS!--YOU lead with viewless march
The winged vapours up the aerial arch,
15 On each broad cloud a thousand sails expand,
And steer the shadowy treasure o'er the land,
Through vernal skies the gathering drops diffuse,
Plunge in soft rains, or sink in silver dews.--
YOUR lucid bands condense with fingers chill
20 The blue mist hovering round the gelid hill;
In clay-form'd beds the trickling streams collect,
Strain through white sands, through pebbly veins direct;
Or point in rifted rocks their dubious way,
And in each bubbling fountain rise to day.

[_The winged vapours_. l. 14. See additional note No. XXV. on

[_On each broad cloud_. l. 15. The clouds consist of condensed vapour,
the particles of which are too small separately to overcome the tenacity
of the air, and which therefore do not descend. They are in such small
spheres as to repel each other, that is, they are applied to each other
by such very small surfaces, that the attraction of the particles of
each drop to its own centre is greater than its attraction to the
surface of the drop in its vicinity; every one has observed with what
difficulty small spherules of quicksilver can be made to unite, owing to
the same cause; and it is common to see on riding through shallow water
on a clear day, numbers of very small spheres of water as they are
thrown from the horses feet run along the surface for many yards before
they again unite with it. In many cases these spherules of water, which
compose clouds, are kept from uniting by a surplus of electric fluid;
and fall in violent showers as soon as that is withdrawn from them, as
in thunder storms. See note on Canto I. l. 553.

If in this state a cloud becomes frozen, it is torn to pieces in its
descent by the friction of the air, and falls in white flakes of snow.
Or these flakes are rounded by being rubbed together by the winds, and
by having their angles thawed off by the warmer air beneath as they
descend; and part of the water produced by these angles thus dissolved
is absorbed into the body of the hailstone, as may be seen by holding a
lump of snow over a candle, and there becomes frozen into ice by the
quantity of cold which the hailstone possesses beneath the freezing
point, or which is produced by its quick evaporation in falling; and
thus hailstones are often found of greater or less density according as
they consist of a greater portion of snow or ice. If hailstones
consisted of the large drops of showers frozen in their descent, they
would consist of pure transparent ice.

As hail is only produced in summer, and is always attended with storms,
some philosophers have believed that the sudden departure of electricity
from a cloud may effect something yet unknown in this phenomenon; but it
may happen in summer independent of electricity, because the aqueous
vapour is then raised higher in the atmosphere, whence it has further to
fall, and there is warmer air below for it to fall through.]

[_Or sink in silver dews_. l. 18. During the coldness of the night the
moisture before dissolved in the air is gradually precipitated, and as
it subsides adheres to the bodies it falls upon. Where the attraction of
the body to the particles of water is greater than the attractions of
those particles to each other, it becomes spread upon their surface, or
slides down them in actual contact; as on the broad parts of the blades
of moist grass: where the attraction of the surface to the water is less
than the attraction of the particles of water to each other, the dew
stands in drops; as on the points and edges of grass or gorse, where the
surface presented to the drop being small it attracts it so little as
but just to support it without much changing its globular form: where
there is no attraction between the vegetable surface and the dew drops,
as on cabbage leaves, the drop does not come into contact with the leaf,
but hangs over it repelled, and retains it natural form, composed of the
attraction and pressure of its own parts, and thence looks like
quicksilver, reflecting light from both its surfaces. Nor is this owing
to any oiliness of the leaf, but simply to the polish of its surface, as
a light needle may be laid on water in the same manner without touching
it; for as the attractive powers of polished surfaces are greater when
in actual contact, so the repulsive power is greater before contact.]

[_The blue mist_. l. 20. Mists are clouds resting on the ground, they
generally come on at the beginning of night, and either fill the moist
vallies, or hang on the summits of hills, according to the degree of
moisture previously dissolved, and the eduction of heat from them. The
air over rivers during the warmth of the day suspends much moisture, and
as the changeful surface of rivers occasions them to cool sooner than
the land at the approach of evening, mists are most frequently seen to
begin over rivers, and to spread themselves over moist grounds, and fill
the vallies, while the mists on the tops of mountains are more properly
clouds, condensed by the coldness of their situation.

On ascending up the side of a hill from a misty valley, I have observed
a beautiful coloured halo round the moon when a certain thickness of
mist was over me, which ceased to be visible as soon as I emerged out of
it; and well remember admiring with other spectators the shadow of the
three spires of the cathedral church at Lichfield, the moon rising
behind it, apparently broken off, and lying distinctly over our heads as
if horizontally on the surface of the mist, which arose about as high as
the roof of the church. There are some curious remarks on shadows or
reflexions seen on the surface of mists from high mountains in Ulloa's
Voyages. The dry mist of summer 1783, was probably occasioned by
volcanic eruption, as mentioned in note on Chunda, Vol. II. and
therefore more like the atmosphere of smoke which hangs on still days
over great cities.

There is a dry mist, or rather a diminished transparence of the air,
which according to Mr. Saussure accompanies fair weather, while great
transparence of air indicates rain. Thus when large rivers two miles
broad, such as at Liverpool, appear narrow, it is said to prognosticate
rain; and when wide, fair weather. This want of transparence of the air
in dry weather, may be owing to new combinations or decompositions of
the vapours dissolved in it, but wants further investigation. Essais sur
L'Hygromet, p. 357.]

[_Round the gelid hill_. l. 20. See additional notes, No. XXVI. on the
origin of springs.]

25 "NYMPHS! YOU then guide, attendant from their source,
The associate rills along their sinuous course;
Float in bright squadrons by the willowy brink,
Or circling slow in limpid eddies sink;
Call from her crystal cave the Naiad-Nymph,
30 Who hides her fine form in the passing lymph,
And, as below she braids her hyaline hair,
Eyes her soft smiles reflected in the air;
Or sport in groups with River-Boys, that lave
Their silken limbs amid the dashing wave;
35 Pluck the pale primrose bending from its edge,
Or tittering dance amid the whispering sedge.--

"Onward YOU pass, the pine-capt hills divide,
Or feed the golden harvests on their side;
The wide-ribb'd arch with hurrying torrents fill,
40 Shove the slow barge, or whirl the foaming mill.
OR lead with beckoning hand the sparkling train
Of refluent water to its parent main,
And pleased revisit in their sea-moss vales
Blue Nereid-forms array'd in shining scales,
45 Shapes, whose broad oar the torpid wave impels,
And Tritons bellowing through their twisted shells.

"So from the heart the sanguine stream distils,
O'er Beauty's radiant shrine in vermil rills,
Feeds each fine nerve, each slender hair pervades,
50 The skins bright snow with living purple shades,
Each dimpling cheek with warmer blushes dyes,
Laughs on the lips, and lightens in the eyes.
--Erewhile absorb'd, the vagrant globules swim
From each fair feature, and proportion'd limb,
55 Join'd in one trunk with deeper tint return
To the warm concave of the vital urn.

II. 1."AQUATIC MAIDS! YOU sway the mighty realms
Of scale and shell, which Ocean overwhelms;
As Night's pale Queen her rising orb reveals,
60 And climbs the zenith with refulgent wheels,
Car'd on the foam your glimmering legion rides,
Your little tridents heave the dashing tides,
Urge on the sounding shores their crystal course,
Restrain their fury, or direct their force.

[_Car'd on the foam_. l. 61. The phenomena of the tides have been well
investigated and satisfactorily explained by Sir Isaac Newton and Dr.
Halley from the reciprocal gravitations of the earth, moon, and sun. As
the earth and moon move round a centre of motion near the earth's
surface, at the same time that they are proceeding in their annual orbit
round the sun, it follows that the water on the side of the earth
nearest this centre of motion between the earth and moon will be more
attracted by the moon, and the waters on the opposite side of the earth
will be less attracted by the moon, than the central parts of the earth.
Add to this that the centrifugal force of the water on the side of the
earth furthest from the centre of the motion, round which the earth and
moon move, (which, as was said before, is near the surface of the earth)
is greater than that on the opposite side of the earth. From both these
causes it is easy to comprehend that the water will rise on two sides of
the earth, viz. on that nearest to the moon, and its opposite side, and
that it will be flattened in consequence at the quadratures, and thus
produce two tides in every lunar day, which consists of about twenty-
four hours and forty-eight minutes.

These tides will be also affected by the solar attraction when it
coincides with the lunar one, or opposes it, as at new and full moon,
and will also be much influenced by the opposing shores in every part of
the earth.

Now as the moon in moving round the centre of gravity between itself and
the earth describes a much larger orbit than the earth describes round
the same centre, it follows that the centrifugal motion on the side of
the moon opposite to the earth must be much greater than the centrifugal
motion of the side of the earth opposite to the moon round the same
centre. And secondly, as the attraction of the earth exerted on the
moon's surface next to the earth is much greater than the attraction of
the moon exerted on the earth's surface, the tides on the lunar sea, (if
such there be,) should be much greater than those of our ocean. Add to
this that as the same face of the moon always is turned to the earth,
the lunar tides must be permanent, and if the solid parts of the moon be
spherical, must always cover the phasis next to us. But as there are
evidently hills and vales and volcanos on this side of the moon, the
consequence is that the moon has no ocean, or that it is frozen.]

65 2."NYMPHS! YOU adorn, in glossy volumes roll'd,
The gaudy conch with azure, green, and gold.
You round Echinus ray his arrowy mail,
Give the keel'd Nautilus his oar and sail;
Firm to his rock with silver cords suspend
70 The anchor'd Pinna, and his Cancer-friend;
With worm-like beard his toothless lips array,
And teach the unwieldy Sturgeon to betray.--
Ambush'd in weeds, or sepulcher'd in sands,
In dread repose He waits the scaly bands,
75 Waves in red spires the living lures, and draws
The unwary plunderers to his circling jaws,
Eyes with grim joy the twinkling shoals beset,
And clasps the quick inextricable net.
You chase the warrior Shark, and cumberous Whale,
80 And guard the Mermaid in her briny vale;
Feed the live petals of her insect-flowers,
Her shell-wrack gardens, and her sea-fan bowers;
With ores and gems adorn her coral cell,
And drop a pearl in every gaping shell.

[_The gaudy conch_. l. 66. The spiral form of many shells seem to have
afforded a more frugal manner of covering the long tail of the fish with
calcareous armour; since a single thin partition between the adjoining
circles of the fish was sufficient to defend both surfaces, and thus
much cretaceous matter is saved; and it is probable that from this
spiral form they are better enabled to feel the vibrations of the
element in which they exist. See note on Canto IV. l. 162. This
cretaceous matter is formed by a mucous secretion from the skin of the
fish, as is seen in crab-fish, and others which annually cast their
shells, and is at first a soft mucous covering, (like that of a hen's
egg, when it is laid a day or two too soon,) and which gradually
hardens. This may also be seen in common shell snails, if a part of
their shell be broken it becomes repaired in a similar manner with
mucus, which by degrees hardens into shell.

It is probable the calculi or stones found in other animals may have a
similar origin, as they are formed on mucous membranes, as those of the
kidney and bladder, chalk-stones in the gout, and gall-stones; and are
probably owing to the inflammation of the membrane where they are
produced, and vary according to the degree of inflammation of the
membrane which forms them, and the kind of mucous which it naturally
produces. Thus the shelly matter of different shell-fish differs, from
the courser kinds which form the shells of crabs, to the finer kinds
which produces the mother-pearl.

The beautiful colours of some shells originate from the thinness of the
laminae of which they consist, rather than to any colouring matter, as
is seen in mother-pearl, which reflects different colours according to
the obliquity of the light which falls on it. The beautiful prismatic
colours seen on the Labrodore stone are owing to a similar cause, viz.
the thinness of the laminae of which it consists, and has probably been
formed from mother-pearl shells.

It is curious that some of the most common fossil shells are not now
known in their recent state, as the cornua ammonis; and on the contrary,
many shells which are very plentiful in their recent state, as limpets,
sea-ears, volutes, cowries, are very rarely found fossil. Da Costa's
Conchology, p. 163. Were all the ammoniae destroyed when the continents
were raised? Or do some genera of animals perish by the increasing power
of their enemies? Or do they still reside at inaccessible depths in the
sea? Or do some animals change their forms gradually and become new

[_Echinus. Nautilus_. l. 67, 68. See additional notes, No. XXVII.]

[_Pinna. Cancer_. l. 70. See additional notes, No. XXVII.]

[_With worm-like beard_. l. 71. See additional notes, No. XXVIII.]

[_Feed the live petals_. l. 82. There is a sea-insect described by Mr.
Huges whose claws or tentacles being disposed in regular circles and
tinged with variety of bright lively colours represent the petals of
some most elegantly fringed and radiated flowers as the carnation,
marigold, and anemone. Philos. Trans. Abridg. Vol. IX. p. 110. The Abbe
Dicquemarre has further elucidated the history of the actinia; and
observed their manner of taking their prey by inclosing it in these
beautiful rays like a net. Phil. Trans. Vol. LXIII. and LXV. and LXVII.]

[_And drop a pearl_. l. 84. Many are the opinions both of antient and
modern concerning the production of pearls. Mr. Reaumur thinks they are
formed like the hard concretions in many land animals as stones of the
bladder, gallstones, and bezoar, and hence concludes them to be a
disease of the fish, but there seems to be a stricter analogy between
these and the calcareous productions found in crab-fish called crab's
eyes, which are formed near the stomach of the animal, and constitute a
reservoir of calcareous matter against the renovation of the shell, at
which time they are re-dissolved and deposited for that purpose. As the
internal part of the shell of the pearl oyster or muscle consists of
mother-pearl which is a similar material to the pearl and as the animal
has annually occasion to enlarge his shell there is reason to suspect the
loose pearls are similar reservoirs of the pearly matter for that

85 3. "YOUR myriad trains o'er stagnant ocean's tow,
Harness'd with gossamer, the loitering prow;
Or with fine films, suspended o'er the deep,
Of oil effusive lull the waves to sleep.
You stay the flying bark, conceal'd beneath,
90 Where living rocks of worm-built coral breathe;
Meet fell TEREDO, as he mines the keel
With beaked head, and break his lips of steel;
Turn the broad helm, the fluttering canvas urge
From MAELSTROME'S fierce innavigable surge.
95 --'Mid the lorn isles of Norway's stormy main,
As sweeps o'er many a league his eddying train,
Vast watery walls in rapid circles spin,
And deep-ingulph'd the Demon dwells within;
Springs o'er the fear-froze crew with Harpy-claws,
100 Down his deep den the whirling vessel draws;
Churns with his bloody mouth the dread repast,
The booming waters murmuring o'er the mast.

[_Or with fine films_. l. 87. See additional notes, No. XXIX.]

[_Where living rocks_. l. 90. The immense and dangerous rocks built by
the swarms of coral infects which rise almost perpendicularly in the
southern ocean like walls are described in Cook's voyages, a point of
one of these rocks broke off and stuck in the hole which it had made in
the bottom of one of his ships, which would otherwise have perished by
the admission of water. The numerous lime-stone rocks which consist of a
congeries of the cells of these animals and which constitute a great
part of the solid earth shew their prodigious multiplication in all ages
of the world. Specimens of these rocks are to be seen in the Lime-works
at Linsel near Newport in Shropshire, in Coal-brook Dale, and in many
parts of the Peak of Derbyshire. The insect has been well described by
M. Peyssonnel, Ellis, and others. Phil. Trans. Vol. XLVII. L. LII. and

[_Meet fell Teredo_. l. 91. See additional notes, No. XXX.]

[_Turn the broad helm_. l 93. See additional notes, No. XXXI.]

III. "Where with chill frown enormous ALPS alarms
A thousand realms, horizon'd in his arms;
105 While cloudless suns meridian glories shed
From skies of silver round his hoary head,
Tall rocks of ice refract the coloured rays,
And Frost sits throned amid the lambent blaze;
NYMPHS! YOUR thin forms pervade his glittering piles,
110 His roofs of chrystal, and his glasy ailes;
Where in cold caves imprisoned Naiads sleep,
Or chain'd on mossy couches wake and weep;
Where round dark crags indignant waters bend
Through rifted ice, in ivory veins descend,
115 Seek through unfathom'd snows their devious track,
Heave the vast spars, the ribbed granites crack,
Rush into day, in foamy torrents shine,
And swell the imperial Danube or the Rhine.--
Or feed the murmuring TIBER, as he laves
120 His realms inglorious with diminish'd waves,
Hears his lorn Forum sound with Eunuch-strains,
Sees dancing slaves insult his martial plains;
Parts with chill stream the dim religious bower,
Time-mouldered bastion, and dismantled tower;
125 By alter'd fanes and nameless villas glides,
And classic domes, that tremble on his sides;
Sighs o'er each broken urn, and yawning tomb,
And mourns the fall of LIBERTY and ROME.

[_Where round dark craggs_. l. 113. See additional notes, No. XXXII.]

[_Heave the vast spars_. l. 116. Water in descending down elevated
situations if the outlet for it below is not sufficient for its emission
acts with a force equal to the height of the column, as is seen in an
experimental machine called the philosophical bellows, in which a few
pints of water are made to raise many hundred pounds. To this cause is
to be ascribed many large promontories of ice being occasionally thrown
down from the glaciers; rocks have likewise been thrown from the sides
of mountains by the same cause, and large portions of earth have been
removed many hundred yards from their situations at the foot of
mountains. On inspecting the locomotion of about thirty acres of earth
with a small house near Bilder's Bridge in Shropshire, about twenty
years ago, from the foot of a mountain towards the river, I well
remember it bore all the marks of having been thus lifted up, pushed
away, and as it were crumpled into ridges, by a column of water
contained in the mountain.

From water being thus confined in high columns between the strata of
mountainous countries it has often happened that when wells or
perforations have been made into the earth, that springs have arisen
much above the surface of the new well. When the new bridge was building
at Dublin Mr. G. Semple found a spring in the bed of the river where he
meant to lay the foundation of a pierre, which, by fixing iron pipes
into it, he raised many feet. Treatise on Building in Water, by G.
Semple. From having observed a valley north-west of St. Alkmond's well
near Derby, at the head of which that spring of water once probably
existed, and by its current formed the valley, (but which in after times
found its way out in its present situation,) I suspect that St.
Alkmond's well might by building round it be raised high enough to
supply many streets in Derby with spring-water which are now only
supplied with river-water. See an account of an artificial spring of
water, Phil. Trans. Vol. LXXV. p. 1.

In making a well at Sheerness the water rose 300 feet above its source
in the well. Phil. Trans. Vol. LXXIV. And at Hartford in Connecticut
there is a well which was dug seventy feet deep before water was found,
then in boring an augur-hole through a rock the water rose so fast as to
make it difficult to keep it dry by pumps till they could blow the hole
larger by gunpowder, which was no sooner accomplished than it filled and
run over, and has been a brook for near a century. Travels through
America. Lond. 1789. Lane.]

IV. "Sailing in air, when dark MONSOON inshrouds
130 His tropic mountains in a night of clouds;
Or drawn by whirlwinds from the Line returns,
And showers o'er Afric all his thousand urns;
High o'er his head the beams of SIRIUS glow,
And, Dog of Nile, ANUBIS barks below.
135 NYMPHS! YOU from cliff to cliff attendant guide
In headlong cataracts the impetuous tide;
Or lead o'er wastes of Abyssinian sands
The bright expanse to EGYPT'S shower-less lands.
--Her long canals the sacred waters fill,
140 And edge with silver every peopled hill;
Gigantic SPHINX in circling waves admire;
And MEMNON bending o'er his broken lyre;
O'er furrow'd glebes and green savannas sweep,
And towns and temples laugh amid the deep.

[_Dark monsoon inshrouds_. l. 129. When from any peculiar situations of
land in respect to sea the tropic becomes more heated, when the sun is
vertical over it, than the line, the periodical winds called monsoons
are produced, and these are attended by rainy seasons; for as the air at
the tropic is now more heated than at the line it ascends by decrease of
its specific gravity, and floods of air rush in both from the South West
and North East, and these being one warmer than the other the rain is
precipitated by their mixture as observed by Dr. Hutton. See additional


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